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NYC Library is Posting Novels to Instagram

When you think about Instagram, you think of beautiful, visual content.  Instagram would not be a place where you would take on a novel. But the New York City Library is looking to change that thought.  By working hard to reach to a new audience in a digital way that feels seamless, they are hoping to introduce a new audience to the classic novels we love.

For an institution that is over 100 years old, they indeed are hip.  This innovative approach to delight their followers with the classics will undoubtedly gain them exposure and hopefully more visits.  They are genuinely disrupting the way that we think we should use Instagram and Instagram stories and other marketers will probably begin to follow suit. This will help them to grow free Instagram followers.

Insta Novels

NYC Library is making great use of the highlight feature on Instagram.  By using stunning photos and videos, they are able to tell the stories of classic books we love.  Users are able to view the highlight the same way they would Instagram Stories and merely keep their finger on the screen to keep the screen the same and lift it when they want to turn the page.

There is an informative tutorial highlight that will help newbies through the process.  The pages colors and fonts are pleasing to read and easy on the eyes, and many resemble the real book.  The animations are fun and break up the reading.

Age Demographic

Using Instagram as the platform, they are able to reach a different audience.  The hope is they will read the books provided and fall in love with some of the classics and even visit the NYC Library for more books to enjoy.

They chose Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as their first digital novel.  What a perfect choice for the first run.  The pictures and video are very engaging and make you eager to continue reading to see what other surprises are in store for you.  It’s nice that the highlights are broken up to make for a more comfortable reading experience.


New York City Library is no stranger to Instagram.  The library’s @nypl Instagram has over 200,000 followers and this number is continuing to rise.  They have fun on the platform which encourages user-generated content through their various hashtags such as #captionthis and #bookfacefriday.

Introducing followers to the classics is a great way to foster a love of reading.  To most, the classics are hard to follow. But pair timeless pieces of literature with pictures can make following the plot much easier.  And users are enjoying their new reading experiences.


Something cool to consider is doing would be developing an app to showcase some of the novels they would like to present.  App development salary would have to be considered, but given the increasing followers, this would likely be offset by the new patrons.

Whatever they do with their new adventure, we are excited to see what they produce next.  There is something so refreshing about reading a classic book on Instagram.  Thanks, New York City Library for being so innovative and bringing a smile to people’s faces!

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